Warriors

Warriors

The Warriors made a number of deals around the NBA trade deadline, shipping out D'Angelo Russell, Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks.

While the trade that sent Russell, Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins, a protected 2021 first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick got all the headlines, Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle reported that it was the Robinson trade that had a bigger impact on the Warriors' locker room.

"One league source told The Chronicle that many on the team were far more upset about Robinson being traded than with D’Angelo Russell getting dealt to Minnesota the next day," Letourneau writes.

Robinson, 26, was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers along with Burks for three second-round draft picks. Robinson fit in nicely with the Warriors, averaging 12.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists while knocking down 40 percent of his 3-point attempts and being a good locker room presence during a down year for the Warriors.

President of basketball operations/general manager Bob Myers questioned the trade at the time but ultimately decided to go through with it. Robinson was disappointed by the trade but is open to a reunion this offseason when he will once again be a free agent.

"Would I rule it out? Not with this organization," Robinson told NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock in March. "They were really great to me, and like I said, really changed my career, so it's no bad feelings, no hard love for Golden State."

 

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As for Russell, while his offensive talent is undeniable the fit was never right with the Warriors.

A high-usage guard who is prone to lapses on the defensive end, Russell's long-term staying power alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson always was in question, and in the end, it was best for both sides that he was sent to Minnesota.

"To be perfectly blunt, the fit was questionable when we signed him," Kerr said after the trade. "Nobody questioned that. When you already have Steph and Klay and you add a ball-dominant guard, you can rightfully question the fit."

In 12 games with the Warriors since the trade, Wiggins appears to be a much better fit. He's a much better defender than Russell and his offensive game is better suited to play a complementary role next to Curry and Thompson once they return. Wiggins showcased his passing a defense during the start of his Warriors tenure and the Warriors believe "the sky is the limit" for the 2014 No. 1 overall pick.

The Warriors' season ended when the NBA voted to restart in Orlando, Fla., with only 22 teams. They'll be well-rested for a return to the top when the 2020-21 season begins with Curry having played just five games in over a year at that point and Thompson having 16 months between his ACL tear and the projected start of training camp in November.

A return to the NBA Finals could be in the cards for the Warriors next season, and there's a chance that Robinson could return to the Bay to help with that title run.

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